Celebrations keep the fire burning

Celebrations keep the fire burning

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Mungart Yongah performed some traditional dances.

Rain didn’t dampen the spirits of the 3000 people who came together to celebrate NAIDOC in the City of Armadale on Tuesday.

Organisers said the usually well-attended festival kept growing each year. But with an ominous weather forecast, they were sceptical this year’s turnout could eclipse last year’s.

A lot of last-minute effort went into putting up tents to provide cover for the bands and free activities on offer by a large variety of local organisations.

And organisers were delighted to see so many people turn out to enjoy the day.

Those in attendance at the Bob Blackburn Reserve on Tuesday enjoyed a free beef or kangaroo sausage sizzle and performances by the Natasha Blurton Band, the Billy Woodley Band and emerging artists from Boss Art Creative.

And children in face paint were excitedly interacting with a menagerie of reptiles, and native animals brought by Ranger Red.

Eric and Keeta Lawrence enjoyed the free activities

The 2024 national theme for NAIDOC is Keep the Fire Burning! Blak, Loud and Proud.

“The fire represents the enduring strength and vitality of Indigenous cultures, passed down through generations despite the challenges faced,” the National NAIDOC Committee said.

“As we honour this flame, we kindle the sparks of pride and unity, igniting a renewed commitment to acknowledging, preserving, and sharing the cultural heritage that enriches our nation.”

Photographs – Richard Polden.

Local artist Caitlin Schnaars with her piece called ‘Fire.’